3D printer

1984 And so we come to the last of our 50 inventions and, in some respects, we have come full circle, as we end...

Personal computer

1973 Be it a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, the average person owns at least one personal computational device, for performing a variety of...

Satellite

1962 Military and governmental satellites had existed for over half a decade when the Telstar satellite was launched into space on top of a...

Internet

1960 Another invention to which no firm date nor name can be ascribed, the internet nonetheless remains an absolute necessity for a top inventions...

Space probe

1959 Luna 1 (pictured left) wasn’t the first space probe to be built, but it was the first to successfully leave a geocentric orbit...

Credit card

1958 Almost nobody goes anywhere today without some form of debit or credit card, but not so long ago all we had was physical...

Medical imaging

1953 Medical imaging techniques such as ultrasonography — invented in 1953 at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden — have revolutionised the field of...

Microwave oven

1947 The microwave oven was created by chance (see ‘Accidents of invention’), but despite its serendipitous origins, the first commercial microwave was sold in...

Nuclear reactor

1942 The world’s first nuclear reactor was the Chicago Pile-1 (pictured), which was constructed as part of the USA’s Manhattan Project in WWII. Built...

Radar

1935 It’s funny to think that the radar, one of today’s most useful inventions, was born out of a British-funded ‘death ray’ project during...

Wyoming’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

EPSCoR is a federal grant program which enables Wyoming to be nationally competitive in science and technology. EPSCoR funding and state match appropriations are utilized to build science and engineering in higher education and a technology-based economy for the future. EPSCoR has helped to move the State of Wyoming along the path of research and excellence by supporting the State’s research endeavors.

The goals of Wyoming EPSCoR are:

  • to facilitate the building of research educational infrastructure in the state,
  • to foster collaborative communication among diverse participants in STEM fields,
  • to communicate goals, directions, activities, and outcomes widely,
  • to administer research awards from NSF EPSCoR to increase national competitiveness, and
  • to bring the national goals of the EPSCoR program to Wyoming.

Greatest Investigations

From the wheel to the 3D printer, we pick 50 of history’s most significant innovations that have shaped the modern world
What is it to be human? That question is hard to answer, but one thing that most would agree plays a large part in it is our creativity. Machines — even revolutionary ones — lack the ability to think outside the box, or to add two and two together and make five. They can often outperform us in many tasks — both physically and mentally -however the creative element that led to their own existence remains elusive.

And so it has been throughout time. Human ingenuity has led to the creation of thousands upon thousands of tools, machines, systems, processes and materials that have made our lives easier and helped us better understand the world. From the wheel to the refrigerator, printing press to magnetic compass, humanity has always pushed its creativity to the limit, building devices that — while sometimes seeming insignificant — have gone on to change the world in amazing ways. Of course, not every creative spark has led to the electric light bulb or microscope, but we can nevertheless always learn from our mistakes — sometimes even more than our successes.
Here are just 50 of the millions of inventions that have been produced due to our insatiable hunger to make our lives that little bit easier. You never know, perhaps they’ll inspire you to think up some innovations of your own…